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4 Mar, 2019 10:08

China’s ‘weak’ annual economic growth eclipses Australia’s entire economy

China’s ‘weak’ annual economic growth eclipses Australia’s entire economy

Despite slowing growth over recent years, China’s added gross domestic product last year was worth more than the value of Australia’s total output, according to Chinese National Bureau of Statistics.

Last year, Chinese economic growth saw a slowdown to 6.6 percent compared to 6.8 reached in 2017, marking the lowest full-year growth rate since 3.9 percent in 1990. However, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) still grew well above those of the G7 economies, with China making up nearly 30 percent of global economic growth.

The value of the Chinese economy, the world’s second largest, hit $13.6 trillion in 2018, according to the latest data compiled by the country’s statistics agency.

“China remains a source of power for the global economy,” said Sheng Laiyun, deputy head of the statistics bureau, as quoted by the South China Morning Post. “China’s additional economic output was worth $1.4 trillion last year, which is equivalent to the total economic size of Australia in 2017.”

Australia’s total output reached $1.32 trillion in 2017, according to the World Bank, which hasn’t revealed data for last year so far. Meanwhile, China’s per capita income in 2018 reached $9,636 (64,644 yuan), while Australia’s per capita figure is more than five times bigger the Chinese one.

According to the bureau, China’s economic growth in 2018 was mostly propelled by domestic consumption that accounted for 76.2 percent of the increase with investments contributing 32.4 percent.

The slowdown comes as Beijing has been trying to reduce corporate debt. Moreover, the country has faced some extra headwinds due to the current trade conflict with Washington. So far, the White House has imposed tariffs on some $250 billion of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with levies on $110 billion on produce imported from the US. After the latest round of trade talks, US President Donald Trump pledged to prolong the temporary truce, extending the deadline for further tariffs.

The trade war between the world’s two largest economies has forced some corporations to reconsider foreign investments in China, while Chinese investment into the US reportedly plummeted by an enormous 83 percent in 2018.

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